Microsoft has updated their privacy statement for their Xbox services, just ahead of the launch of the Xbox One at the end of November. The entire thing is worth a read if you value your privacy and if you're foolish – oops, I mean, enticed enough to take the plunge and use the NSA spy – oops, I mean, Kinect 2.0.
IGN spotted the updated FAQ and privacy statement over on Microsoft's official website.
There are a few key points made on the FAQ, which is designed to help ease some of the paranoia that spawned when German and Australian officials voiced concern over HAL 9000's little cousin. Microsoft reiterates their promise to protect your privacy data, as they noted back in July when it was found out they were helping the NSA during the PRISM program with their services such as Windows Live and Skype.
An interesting note in the FAQ, however, makes it known that Microsoft uses their integrated services to collect and maintain data on their users. The privacy statement blatantly says...
If you choose to link your Microsoft account with your account with a partner company, Microsoft may share limited account information with that company. Such account information may include name, address, email and date of birth but will not include any credit card or other payment information.
If you're wondering why there's even a need to allow your data to be linked or shared with third-party companies, take note that this is done in an effort by Microsoft to maintain their services. What does that mean? It means that Xbox Live is supported by ads... or didn't you know?
Long has the rumor been held by those defending a brand that shows them no return in love for the manner in which they give it to their feigned overlords, that Xbox Live was a vestibule of convenience maintained by the dollars of its users. That, my friends, is what we might call a lie if the rumor were ever propagated as an incorrigible truth.
Truth – if that's what we're to discuss in correlation with Microsoft – is something that smells far worse than the stench of the rumors that have long been upheld by those sooty folk we call “fanboys”. You know how it was believed that those monthly Xbox Live payments you pay to the coffers of Microsoft is what keeps the services alive? Well, Microsoft seems to say otherwise, noting in the privacy statement that...
Xbox Services are supported by advertising. Because Microsoft serves advertisements on the console and on our own web sites as well as those of our advertising and publisher partners, we are able to compile information over time about your use of Xbox services and the types of pages, content and ads you visited or viewed online. This information is used for many purposes, including to help select and display targeted advertisements that we believe may be of interest to you.
Yes, so the Microsoft and Xbox services are supported by ads... so, what's all that $60 a year you've been paying for if Xbox Live is supported by ads? Fanboy service tax?
Anyway, Microsoft has already optimized the Xbox One's dashboards for ads so you can continue to pay $60 a year to see all those high-end ads that Microsoft has waiting and willing to share with you while they collect and keep your data. Boy, doesn't that make you feel like a valued customer?